Web Text-ures Logo
Web and Book design,
Copyright, Kellscraft Studio

(Return to Web Text-ures)
Click Here to return to
What They Say In New England
Content Page

 Return to the Previous Chapter
Kellscraft Studio Logo


TO find a horseshoe in the road is a sign of good luck. Many of the poorer farmhouses of New England have a horseshoe tacked up over an outer entrance for good luck.

In times past, and those not very far removed, object of the horseshoe over the door was to keep out witches.

The horseshoe should be put up with the curve downward. If the open end is down, all your luck will run out.

Carry a lucky-bone, and nothing will harm you. This bone is from the head of a codfish. It is shell-like and narrow, with a length of three-fourths of an inch. The edge is notched, and the color is a pearly white — very pretty.

It is a good plan to carry two lucky-bones. That will make your luck doubly sure. They should be both from the head of the same fish.

When you drop your bread and butter and it falls butter-side down, bad luck is not very far off. There are those that affirm that the bread always drops butter-side down.

When you move from one habitation to another, don't take the cat with you. Bad luck will follow if you do.

When you play cards and have bad luck, get up and go around your chair. A still easier way to turn your luck is to blow in the cards.

When fishing, spit on your bait for good luck. Certain of the most ignorant class will spit on money for good luck.

When you start on an errand or a journey, don't turn back, no matter what you may have forgotten. If you do, ill luck in some form will overtake you.

"Some people who get started, and then think of something they've forgot before they've got out of sight and hearing of the house, will stand right there and holler half an hour for some one to fetch it, rather than go back."

See a pin and let it lie,
Come to sorrow by-and-by.

Another version is: —

See a pin and let it lay,
Want you will and want you may.

Another couplet is: —

See a pin and pick it up,
All the day you'll have good luck.

Others repeat this rhyme: —

See a pin and let it lie,
Bad luck you'll have until you die.

Or: —

You'll want that pin before you die.
It is a sign of good luck to fall up hill.

It is unlucky to get out of bed on the side opposite to the accustomed one. The person who shows signs of crossness is always liable to be reminded of it by the remark, "Well, guess you got out of the wrong side of your bed this morning."

If a spider spins down from the ceìling toward you, he will bring you good luck.

If you trip up on something, it is a sign of bad luck. The best thing for you to do in such a case is to go back and walk it over.

If it is a stone you have fallen over, go back and touch it.

When a ring on the finger has been wished on, or was placed there by some one else, it will bring bad luck if you allow it to be removed.

If, when you start on a journey, you forget something and have to return, sit down before you again start, or the journey will be unlucky.

If you put on your apron wrong side out, wear it so, or in making the change you will change your luck. This applies as well to the putting on of a stocking wrong side out, or any other article of apparel.

Some say that it is safe to right the garment if you take pains to ward off the impending woe by spitting on the garment. To do this genteelly, you need only to moisten the finger-tip with the tongue, and touch the wrong garment.

Then you can turn the garment again and no harm will result.

If you spill your salt at the table, it is a sign you will quarrel with your best friend. You can break the compelling spell of this accident by throwing on the stove the salt that was spilled.

Others have it that spilling salt means simply bad luck, and that you can break the spell by throw á pinch of it over the left shoulder.

Along the shores of many of our streams live numerous families of water bugs that have hard and shiny black backs, and that, when in motion, skim about on the surface with great activity. They are called "Lucky bugs," and it is well known among the boys that to catch one brings good fortune.

When a pointed object you have thrown or dropped sticks up in the ground or floor, it is a sign of good luck.

The finding anything which has any value is a sign of good luck.

"My brother found a penny one day by the doorstep at the schoolhouse. He had good luck afterwards, but I've forgotten what 'twas."

The finding a penny is surer to bring you good luck than almost anything else. Don't spend it, but keep it, and carry it for a "lucky penny." It will bring you good fortune; but if you spend it, or lose it, you will have bad luck, or, at any rate, a sort of indifferent luck such as any one might have.

If a strange dog or cat comes to you and makes its home with you, it will bring you good luck; and a black cat brings its owner good luck.

To carry a hoe into the house is a sign of bad luck.

Be particular to put your right foot foremost when you leave the house, or ill luck will betide you.

Carry a large old-fashioned cent for a "pocket piece." It will bring you good luck.

A five-dollar gold piece is also supposed to be a lucky coin, and a bright new penny has virtues in the same line. The former may be kept laid away in a drawer to hand down as an heirloom.

If the first object you meet when you start on a journey is a woman or a cat, you will have bad luck before you return. If the woman is barefoot, it portends such a degree of bad luck as makes it best to turn back and not go that day.

When you start on a journey, have a care not to put your left arm into your jacket first. Such a proceeding would bring ill luck.

When you take a piece of cake on your plate, and it tips over on its side, that is a sign of bad luck.

See that all the wedding-cake is eaten, for then the married pair will have good luck.

If an even number of crows flies overhead, it is a sign of bad luck.

Put on your vest wrong side out, and you will change your luck if you turn it right.

Friday is an unlucky day, and it is therefore unwise to begin any work on that day. Many people would not think of marrying, or starting on a journey, on the "Hangman's Day."

To have a hen crow is a sign of bad luck.

It is a sign of good luck to find a four-leaf clover.

When you are on a journey, and see a squirrel run across the road in front of you, note his direction. If he went across to the right, you will have good luck, if to the left, bad luck.

If you buy the materials for a new dress and do not make it up before you are married, you will have very bad luck.

Spiders carry good luck with them. Some people will not kill them for fear of spoiling their luck.

If you find the cat sitting with her tail to the fire, expect bad luck.

You will have bad luck if when you get out of bed you rise backwards. You should get up face forwards.

There is luck in odd numbers.

There is, once in a while, a man who, when he sneezes, says, "God bless it," that the sneeze may bring him good luck. If he hears some one else sneeze, he helps them to good luck by saying, "God bless you."

Don't pass under a ladder; it will make you have bad luck.

Rock an empty chair, and you will bring bad luck.

It is unlucky to meet a flock of sheep.

It is unlucky to meet a drove of pigs.

It is bad luck to turn over in bed. The boy who made this affirmation said he had heard of two men who slept together, and who always woke up at midnight, and got out each on his side of the bed, and ran around the foot and got in on the other side. Thus they adjusted themselves to a new position without turning over in bed.

Book Chapter Logo Click the book image to turn to the next Chapter.